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A PREFACE has been so long the customary method of an author introducing himself to his readers, that it has become almost a breach of good manners to obtrude on the public notice without it. Cap in hand, then, his first prefatory remark is, that the Piscatory collection which follows, was commenced by him very many years ago, solely for his own amusement, and was so continued, until it became of such magnitude as to awaken a thought that these high-way and by-way gatherings might also prove not altogether unacceptable to the public in general, but more particularly to the gentle brothers of the craft. From boyhood to his present decline in the vale of years, the author has been a practical Angler, as well as a diligent collector of whatever fell in his way that was in any degree connected with his favourite amusement. As a bookseller and publisher, of some little notoriety, it may be supposed that his opportunities of piscatory gleaning have been both numerous and varied; and if he cannot
boast of offering much that is original, he may at least claim something on the score of industry, in letting nothing escape unnoticed that came before him. The practice of Angling has been so often and so well described, that while he cannot altogether pass over his favourite pursuit, without some glancings at the best methods of fishing with rod and line; the most judicious choice of times and seasons; and the most favourable selection of stations for the purpose, as they have presented themselves in his own practice; he, nevertheless, principally builds his hope of interesting the reader by his anecdotical and bibliographical notices.
In this age of improvement, even our sports are wont to be offered to us with a philosophic halo around them. Walton long ago made Angling a medium for inculcating the most fervent piety and the purest morality. Nor can the finny tribes themselves fail to excite in our minds surprise and admiration, whether we consider the singularities of their construction, the diversities of their forms, or their vast importance to man. On these interesting subjects, the author has confined himself to a few cursory remarks in his introductory chapter, and to the small